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Climate Change Warriors and the G20

As one of 520 Eat Local Feed Global events this year to create awareness of climate change and food security, Oxfam and hosted a welcome barbecue for two of the 30 Pacific Climate Warriors. The Warriors came to Australia to protest against companies exporting coal and other fossil fuels and to tell the world’s governments that they are not drowning, they are fighting.

As we sat eating sausages by Swan River estuary, George Nacewa from Fiji and Daphne Pihigia from Niue told us how climate change is affecting their lives. Their views were diametrically opposed to Prime Minister Tony Abbott who claims that “Coal is good for Humanity.”

Because of the impact of increasingly severe storms George’s village has to be moved inland to avoid being washed away. This land and sea has deep spiritual significance including the grave site of his father. The area has also suffered severe droughts and sea-level rise making growing food difficult. In the last 5 years fruit trees have stopped producing, native birds have disappeared, coral is dying off and fish once common to the area have moved miles off shore making fishing both difficult and dangerous.

Daphne has also witnessed an increase in extreme typhoons, including one which tore the roofs off houses and killed two neighbours. Their experience ties in closely with evidence from across the globe brought together in the scientific 5th Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

In the report the scientist state that we will face severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts from climate change unless we phase out fossil fuel and other green house gas emissions. This report comes at a crucial time just before the G20 in Brisbane.

Oxfam is a partner in the #onmyagenda campaign along with and many other organisations, calling on the G20 leaders to put climate change high on their agenda in Brisbane.

You can join the movement by tweeting to all the world leaders below or using the hashtag #onmyagenda with any other form of social media.